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We all want what we want and now here’s the perfect place to write it all down: a Want Book!

This one’s a vintage Want Book from the historic Belknap Hardware & Mfg. Co. founded in 1840 in Louisville, Kentucky.When I spied it in the corner of a junk shop, it wasn’t just the title that attracted me.

Want Books were given to Dealers to jot down items they needed. A Belknap Customer Representative would call on the customer once a week or every two weeks and transcribe items in this want book to a Belknap order form for delivery later.

Belknap started humbly in a small shop that produced iron products, such as horse and mule shoes, nails, spikes and other forged items. When Belknap celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1940, it had grown to a complex of 37 buildings, covering 37 acres of floor space under one roof. It had underground passageways and covered bridges. Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing was among the nation's largest wholesale enterprises with nationally recognized quality brands.

My hardcover "want book" is in good condition, measuring about 8 3/4" x 5 1/2" x 1/2".
Tightly bound, it appears that only two of the almost 100 pages have been torn out. The front and back covers have a little fading and discoloration but all the graphics are intact and legible.

The inside front cover has a cool two-page spread about the company history, and inside back cover has a great ad for “Two of America’s finest tools!”

The page with the "Common Carriage Bolt List" gives the prices "in effect December 12, 1932" making this a Great Depression Era find.

I also like the hole at the top of the spine and the original string provided to ensure your Want Book was hanging nearby for when you have a whim to write a want!

This would be a great gift for the do-it-yourself-er you know who longs for the old style hardware stores where you'd weigh your penny nails in a paper sack. Or for the crafter who spends countless happy hours at the workbench or puttering in the garage. Someone who's handy. Or hands-on...

I’ve kept this little book for quite a while now, reluctant to let it go. Every time I’d open it, and flip through the beautifully fresh, lined pages, I would decide it was too cool to let go. Like letting go of the past. Well, here goes…

Vintage 1932 Want Book from Belknap Hardware Louisville KY


  • Vintage item from the 1930s
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 183 reviews
  • Favorited by: 6 people